"Britomart" by Walter Crane

Meaning: “Sweet maiden”
Gender: Female
Pronunciation: BRIT-oh-mart, BRIT-oh-mar
Origin: English, Greek
Other forms of the name: Britomartis

This unusual name is a version of the Greek Britomartis, who was the Minoan Goddess of mountains and hunting. It was used by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem “The Faerie Queene” which was a gift to Queen Elizabeth I. How he came up with Britomart might be from combining Brit, as in a Briton, and Martis, which means “of Mars”. Mars is the Roman God of War.

In “The Faerie Queene” Britomart is a female knight and the personification of chastity. She falls in love with Artegal, the personification of justice, when she first sees him in her father’s magic mirror, they then have a dual and he removes her helmet and sees that she is a beautiful young woman. She is one of the most important knights in the poem. Artegal is later enslaved by Radigund and is bound by a contract to serve her, but it saved by Britomart killing Radigund.

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